15 Nov What does it mean to have terms and conditions in an employment contract?
If you have just been offered a job, you have probably received an Employment Contract from your employer. When receiving this contract, it is important to examine its entirety and understand the terms and conditions you are agreeing to. But what does “accepting the terms and conditions of the employment relationship” really mean?
Terms and Conditions Defined
The terms and conditions of an Employment Contract both refer to the responsibilities and benefits of the offered employment. Generally, the terms and conditions include a complete description of the role, what the employer expects from the employee, and what the employer is willing to give the employee for their efforts. For example, describing daily responsibilities, work hours, salary, notice of termination, retirement plan, severance pay etc.
The terms and conditions of an Employment Contract generally vary for each job offer. There are cases where the terms are mostly comprised of required minimums defined in the Employment Standards Act. For example, every non-unionized employee who has worked less than one year for their employer has the right to receive a minimum of one weeks’ notice before they are terminated. The offered Employment Contract may include ESA minimums; however, the employer may offer more than what is legally required.
Even though the terms and conditions are outlined by the employer, it is up to the employee to decide whether these terms are adequate. A written contract requires a signature to indicate the employee accepts all terms, and it is important that this is in fact true before the employee officially signs. Often, the terms and conditions of an Employment Contract may be negotiated, especially in a competitive industry with highly skilled workers. In this case, it is important to seek legal guidance from KCY at LAW, so that the contract can be further analyzed and any necessary modifications can be finalized.
Why is outlining the terms and conditions so critical?
When the terms and conditions of an employment relationship are determined, it provides certainty for what is expected from the employee, and what is promised by the employer. Because this contract is legally binding, once signed, the terms become concrete and the expected behaviour can become reasonably assumed.
Second, the terms of the Employment Contract provide clarity as it defines how the employer and employee should respond to situations within their employment relationship. Having the terms and conditions described uncomplicates the relationship and provides a formula for finding solutions to any issues.
Lastly, it requires the employer and employee to comply with what they originally agreed upon. It keeps both parties accountable to fulfill their responsibilities. For example, if the employer agrees to compensate severance pay upon dismissal, they cannot expect the employee to be content with no severance pay. If the employer does not fulfill their obligation, it would be reasonable for the employee to file a wrongful dismissal claim if they received less than what is promised.
If you have just received your Employment Contract and need to revise its terms and conditions, please contact KCY at LAW by filling in an online consultation request or contact us by phone at 905-639-0999 to book your consultation today.